Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sweet notes

I used to keep notes from my sweetheart in my work desk drawer, and take them out to read whenever I was having a particularly trying day or otherwise in need of some positive vibes. I still keep screenshots of sweet, uplifting emails I’ve received from colleagues to read when I’m feeling unsure of myself. A senior business development manager at my old job came by my desk during my last week with the company to say, in passing but in earnest, that sometimes people don’t know how much they are appreciated until they hand in their notice, after which the appreciative notes start pouring in. By then it’s too late – their desks are packed.

Appreciation should not merely be inferred; that’s how people and companies lose stellar employees, partners, and friends, and, I think, why so many long-distance relationships dissolve. The absence of criticism is hardly the inference of appreciation. There are few people (at least in my life) who can deliver criticism constructively because it takes some effort and thought to do so; the kind of criticism that flows easily probably is not received too well. In any case, I think everyone harbors enough internal self-doubt at times without the aid of anyone else’s unsolicited sharp words.

Charley Harper Homecoming

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